Sunday, August 28, 2016

News / From Our Bureaus

Iranian Baha'i Leaders Given Long Sentences

The seven Baha'i leaders have been imprisoned since the spring of 2008.
The seven Baha'i leaders have been imprisoned since the spring of 2008.
A Baha'i international community official says the 20-year prison sentences given to seven leaders of Iran's Baha'i community are "completely unjust" and based on fabricated charges, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaluddin Khanjani, Afif Naeemi, Saeed Rezai, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakoli, and Vahid Tizfahm were sentenced on August 8 after being found guilty of "espionage," "acting against national security," and being "enemies of God."

They had been on trial since January, and detained in Evin Prison since 2008.

Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i international community representative to the United Nations in Geneva, told Radio Farda that the Baha'i community is demanding the immediate release of all seven Baha'is.

She added that they "were kept in solitary confinement for interminable periods of time without knowing the charges against them, while their temporary arrest was extended every two months."

Ala'i said that during the long trial period, the defendants were only able to meet with their lawyers once, and for just one hour.

The Baha'i World News Service said that before the trial began, the seven were held without formal charges or access to lawyers.

Ala'i believes they were arrested simply for practicing the Baha'i religion and acting as informal community leaders.

According to European Baha'i community statistics, there are about 300,000 Baha'is in Iran, making it one of the largest Baha'i communities in the world. Iran is where the religion was founded in the 19th century.

But the Iranian government does not officially recognize the religion and severe limitations are imposed on its followers, including a ban from attending university.

The government has also sanctioned the destruction of Baha'i holy sites, including the former residence of one of the religion's prophets in Shiraz.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
August 09, 2010 22:20
I am so sad.
I am praying for these extremely courageous and strong souls.

by: Sameer from: India
August 10, 2010 09:08
This is really sad for every body who wants to support world peace and unity.

by: chatorie from: USA
August 10, 2010 12:10
How is this different than what the Nazis did to the Jewish community? Perhaps the Islamist Regime just hasn't figured out how to make gas chambers yet.
As we allow mosque after mosque to be built around our country in the hope that we can somehow live in peace...they just round up anyone they see as a threat and shut them away. When was a Baha'i a threat to anyone? Let's imagine a day when the prison doors are opened and the innocent can live and the Mullahs creep back under their dark slimy stones.

by: Mehr from: Georgia
August 10, 2010 14:37
First and foremost we are living in the twenty first century. It is definitely a matter of deep regret to note that a "Theocratic regime" perhaps "whelped' by foreign powers (International Imperialism and Colonialism) is busy fighting and confronting and even tormenting the nation it supposedly administers. The regime in Tehran is entirely run by "seyeds" (left over arabs of yore) totally, fully and avowedly anti-Iranian (Indo-European/Aryan). These black turbaned clerics (if they are in clerical attire) are seyeds and those with family names as: "Tabatabi, Alawi, Razawi, Mousavi and whose first names are usually: Gholam Abbas, Mostafa, Mojtaba, Morteza, Gholam Reza, Abdol Reza" are unmistakenly seyeds! Their philosphies state that all non-seyeds and conservative muslims can only exist....but the Indo-European Iranian is an enemy and he or she must be eliminated at all costs and under any pretext...and it is the seyed alone who can administer death to them!!! This is a fact...a tragic fact!!! The common individual in the west is fully unaware and absolutely uneducated in this realm! Now this most detested and brutal regime; undoubtedly the most evil regime in the annals of world history is the "Islamic Republic Regime" created by foreign powers with seyed Ruhollah Khomeini as their "willing political prostitute." The Baha'is are fiercely apolitical and have never ever provoked any crisis in their history of more than a hundred and fifty years with nearly six million followers and an equal number of "crypto Bahai'is in Iran and elsewhere and more than twice these figures (more than 12 million...which means at least 24 million) as sympathizers and supporters throughout the world. Almost all of them are highly educated; surgeons and physicians, musicians, artists, architects, engineers and lecturers and philantrophists. Even those Bahai's living below the poverty level always have a piece of bread to share with other human beings wherever.

Arresting these honorable people and subjecting them to torments and brutalities is nothing new with this most evil regime on earth. They have already murdered and executed over a quarter million people of every age and gender and contionue to do so unabated. The "seyed" is NOT and Iranian. He is a nation within a nation, a state within a state and a culture within a culture. He originally has no country or land simply because he never had. He is brutal, vile, vicious and murderous. Above all, armed to the teeth, he is the epitome of cowardice vis-a-vis the unarmed common Iranian and the noble Baha'is.

Courage to all these Baha'i brothers and sisters throughut their struggle with this cowardly regime of murderers in the garb of religion and "God!!"

I ask the sane world to rise up and "shout down" this wretched and pathetic regime and finally "Release the Sun."

Augusta, Georgia

by: Pukirahe from: Vietnam
August 12, 2010 02:46
I wish that the human rights agencies will not forget any humans in such injustices. I pray that the Prophet Muhammad will cause His followers to apply His compassionate teachings. I have contacted many Iranian Baha'is and I know for sure that they all live to serve the well-being of the Iranians and of all people in the world. None of them is mixing in politics.